"The point is to get enough votes for the petition for the mainstream media to take notice."I don't share your optimism on the scum media taking notice. They've ignored our pleas in the past. Disabled people have killed themselves as a result of disgraceful ATOS assessments. Was there an outcry from the Fleet Street filth? No, there wasn't. hundreds upon hundreds have testified to the brutality of government policy against disabled people. Have the Fail, Sun or Express ever taken our side? No, they haven't.
Petitions don't usually achieve anything. Mostly they're used in campaigns to make people feel better about themselves. The best thing about petitions is not the getting of thousands upon thousands of signatures; no, it's the engaging with people in the street who stop and ask what the petition is for. In my experience, and I've ran scores of petitioning and leafleting events; and, for every 20 signatures you receive or leaflets you distribute, a three-minute conversation with a passer-by is more beneficial.
"When some of the gutter press realise the "shop a cheat" hotline is costing a shedload of money for next to no result, they will squeal like stuck pigs about the waste of taxpayers money."
No they won't. To begin with, the government will not allow this to appear as a failure. They'll massage and manipulate data to show the venture a success; and by the time a decent newspaper has got to the truth it'll be yesterday's news. Remember the Benefits' Integrity Project (BIP)? This was going to expose disability benefits' cheats and save the country a fortune. It ended up bringing a handful of people to court, not all of whom were convicted. That particular exercise cost scores of millions of pounds. There was no outcry from the right-wing press or media.